Question 14 of 365: What is the future of outsourcing?

I do not claim to be an expert in outsourcing, nor do I claim to know all of the terrible (and good) things that have come from an acceptance of outsourcing as a reality. What I am claiming by my attempt to answer this question is that I think I may know where it is going. It may be quite arrogant to claim that you know where something is going without really understanding where it has been, but I feel as though it may be important to take this stab in the dark.

The future of outsourcing is personal. It is within your own daily workflow. It is within the stuff that you always wish you didn’t have to put up with, and now you don’t. And, I am not simply talking about the Roomba. I am, instead, referring to the idea that all of the monotonous aspects of your daily existence will be put up for bid. And, if anyone is willing to do them, they will be outsourced. I think the only real way to prove this point is to look at examples.

Prefinery and UTest allows you to outsource your beta testing. No longer will you have to figure out exactly who your users should be. You can rely on the crowd and a company to do it for you.

Smart Thinking allows you to outsource your stack of papers to grade. You can have someone else give your feedback for you. Isn’t “peer” review and writer’s workshop just another form of this kind of outsourcing?

SendGrid gives you the ability to outsource your personal responses to e-mail. We can now scale what used to be a human reaction to having completed steps or done something with an organization, business, or school.

Seed will let you outsource photography, writing, or other creative (but time consuming) work. The question is, how low will the network of creatives go?

Do my Stuff will let you basically put any task you have to do up for auction. Even cleaning bathrooms is up for grabs.

LivePerson will give you life advice and possibly outsource how you should act in your love life.

So, why does this all matter? Why is it that these services are worth even looking at, even as I make fun of the idea of how our future will look when faced with these realities?

Outsourcing (and some people call this version, enlightened outsourcing) in general lets us focus our attention. If it doesn’t do those things, then the future doesn’t look good. If we are outsourcing what is essential to our happiness, then we need to take a step back. But, on the other hand, if we are outsourcing the non-essential then we are streamlining our own existence.

I believe in that part. I’m just not sure if some of this is the answer. While it may be the future of outsourcing, I’m not sure it is a future that all of us can buy into. There may be a huge backlash coming where people take great joy in cleaning their bathrooms and doing their taxes and working with students and users directly. So, what will that be called? Self-sourcing? Unsourcing? Besourcing?

Whatever it is called, I would like to find a balance if I can. I would like to do what I can to be human and involved in the daily events of my life, all the while, not getting bogged down by the things that I have no interest in attempting. That doesn’t have to be a part of a movement. That part can just be for me.

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  1. Thanks for your article.I'm planning to learn many methods to make money with supporting outsourcing services. Outsourcing Services, such as IT Outsourcing,Web Development Outsourcing Services. I got some information about the Outsourcing from this article and is useful to me.Tks again.

  2. Thanks for your article.I'm planning to learn many methods to make money with supporting outsourcing services. Outsourcing Services, such as IT Outsourcing,Web Development Outsourcing Services. I got some information about the Outsourcing from this article and is useful to me.Tks again.

  3. It's not often I get to reference H.G. Wells, but here goes.
    How close are we to setting off down the road of the Eloi in _The Time Machine_? Yes, I realize this sounds silly, but the more we set aside, the more we out- or in- or threshold-source, the more I wonder about where we put our trust. There's something else that's eery about it. While Wells wrote of the Morlocks and the Eloi, Orwell warned us about Big Brother. If I can make one last allusion, wait for it, _Resident Evil_ warned us about the Umbrella Corporation. Ease has a price.
    Now, I'm not so paranoid as to truly believe this is the road down which we are headed. Still, I see pieces of truth in them all. Being bogged down in the things we have no interest in attempting is part of humanity. How much good is freedom from the mundane? How much does it cause us to lose track of perspective? Interconnectivity is good. I'm all for it. Outsourcing, as it stands, though, isn't working toward a level playing field, it's the Law of the Conservation of Minutia.

  4. If being capable of getting bogged down in the minutiae means being human,
    then I think we are running away from being human at an alarming rate. While
    I might not go for any of those allusions necessarily, I do think declaring
    that our time is better spent on “other things” is going to breed the
    weirdest kind of class system. At some point, the “other things” probably
    won't be all that interesting and engaging because we won't be able to see
    how all of it fits together. Eloi or not, we need to be managing our own
    affairs… however we define that to be.

  5. If being capable of getting bogged down in the minutiae means being human,rnthen I think we are running away from being human at an alarming rate. WhilernI might not go for any of those allusions necessarily, I do think declaringrnthat our time is better spent on “other things” is going to breed thernweirdest kind of class system. At some point, the “other things” probablyrnwon’t be all that interesting and engaging because we won’t be able to seernhow all of it fits together. Eloi or not, we need to be managing our ownrnaffairs… however we define that to be.

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